A NASCAR pit crew member and his new wife were killed in a car accident in the Florida Keys while celebrating their honeymoon.
William "Rowdy" Harrell, 30, was a tire carrier for Hendrick Motorsports. He and his wife, Blakley Harrell, 23, died just days after their wedding last weekend, the racing team said in a news release.
Before joining NASCAR, Harrell was a middle linebacker for the University of Alabama's football team, where he won three national championships, according to Hendrick Motorsports.
"Today, Hendrick Motorsports learned that team member William 'Rowdy' Harrell and his wife, Blakley, were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Florida last night," the group said on Wednesday. "The newlyweds were traveling to celebrate their honeymoon after being married on Saturday."
The Florida Highway Patrol said in a report that Harrell's Toyota Corolla collided with a Ford pick-up truck on US Highway 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key, according to NASCAR. The truck driver sustained minor injuries but two passengers were "seriously hurt," NASCAR said.
Harrell worked for Hendrick Motorsports' No. 88 team for the past eight seasons, most recently for driver Alex Bowman. Harrell was a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports, according to Hendrick Motorsports.
Rowdy was everything that made the 88 team, the 88 team. The biggest personality and the best person. He was the happiest person you’d ever meet, and that was only reenforced by his wife Blakley. Rip to an absolute legend. You’ll be missed every single day brother. pic.twitter.com/ouvflY1M7h— Alex Bowman (@AlexBowman88) November 25, 2020
Devastated.— Greg Ives (@Ives_Greg) November 25, 2020
It has been a tough morning talking with teammates. The news hit us hard.
We are thinking of the families affected by this tragedy and wanted their consent before releasing a statement. https://t.co/arDUxT4S8E
Rowdy Harrell was a wonderful teammate and friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this devastating time.
CNN — Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.